Welcome to my one pot Gambian Benachin rice.
I recently tried some Gambian Benachin Rice at one of my favourite Portuguese restaurants. It was the meal of the day and came with some delicious fresh fish and vegetables. I had never had it before and asked about it and they were nice enough to share with me that it came from The Gambia and that was the inspiration behind the recipe.
This of course brought great memories back, as I was nine and ten on my two visits to The Gambia with my parents when I was growing up. It was one of those holidays that felt very cultured and with nice swimming pools, good entertainment and good food, I was a kid well catered for.
When we went the first time I had just learnt how to swim. My mum had taken me down to my local council pools and I had picked it up really quickly without needing any professional training. Swimming was my thing and my mum always says that if my kids are half the swimmer I am that they will be amazing.
Then after my initial swimming we headed to the Gambia and a week of daily swimming and I was a strong swimmer and I will always remember The Gambia for that!
It was also a great place to learn about poverty and The Gambian way of life. The neighbouring island of Cape Verde is very popular among the Portuguese so I am sure will visit there sometime in the next couple of years.
But while I dream of holidays in the sun here is our take on The Gambian classic dish called Benachin.
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- Large Pan
- 1 White Fish
- 1 Large Fresh Tomato diced
- 3 Medium Onion peeled and diced
- 4 Large Carrots peeled and diced
- 1 Small Cabbage shredded
- 1 Litre Water
- 900 g Rice
- 5 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 Tsp Tomato Puree
- 1/5 Small Red Chilli finely diced
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 1 Tsp Coriander
- 1 Tsp Cumin
- 1 Tsp Paprika
- 1 Tsp Turmeric
- Salt & Pepper
Chop up the fish into bite sized pieces and fry in your pan with the olive oil until it is brown on both sides. Then put the fish to one side.
In your pan add the onions, fresh tomato, tomato puree and fry until it is brown.
Add water and bring to the boil.
Add the cabbage, carrots, seasoning and then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
Add the rice and stir regularly until the rice is well cooked.
Add the fish, mix again and serve.